Neuroscience

Of molecules and minds: 5 things we learned at BRAINet

The Brain Research Awareness and Information Network (BRAINet) is the volunteer outreach organization of the OHSU Brain Institute. Each month, they come together for a lecture luncheon. March’s special guest was Eric Gouaux, Ph.D. Here are five things we learned about Dr. Gouaux and his research: 1. As a Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator for the Vollum Institute, Eric Gouaux’s lab studies the molecular principles underpinning the structure and function of chemical synapses. 2. He has been awarded … Read More

Brain Awareness Lecture recap: The Quest for Consciousness

Christof Koch, Ph.D. is chief scientific officer for the Allen Institute of Brain Science. On March 9, he spoke at the Newmark Theatre as part of our 2015 Brain Awareness Lecture Series. Here, he provides a brief summary of his presentation: The aim of my life as a scientist is to understand how consciousness comes into the world! How is it that the human brain, the most complex piece of organized matter in the known universe, is … Read More

Spring forward with ease with these tips from a sleep expert

Daylight saving time gives us an opportunity to enjoy a little more sunlight when we get home from a busy day. However, studies indicate that this time change can also be associated with disrupted sleep, and even a suggestion of increased hearts attacks soon after. Here are some tips for adjusting to daylight saving time this weekend: 1. Prepare for “springing ahead” by trying to get to bed early over this weekend. I would suggest … Read More

Five ways to explore Brain Awareness Season

On behalf of the OHSU Brain Institute, I am proud to present our 16th Brain Awareness Season! This year’s theme is The Infinite Brain. The universe is full of unlimited connections and possibilities, but the world inside our heads is as equally fascinating and infinite. Our brains not only affect how we think, feel and act, but also how society develops and evolves. The Season includes events for all types of audiences. Here are just a … Read More

What can birds tell us about the human brain?

If you spent any time toasting in the new year, and found difficulty getting your words to come out clearly, do not worry — you are not alone. In a study published last month, Claudio Mello, Andrey Ryabinin, Devin Owen and myself — all from the OHSU Department of Behavioral Neuroscience — found that songbirds that drink alcohol experience difficulty in singing as well. More than 500 media outlets across the world — including National … Read More

Drink to your health — once again

’Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry! And perhaps a few of those seasonal sips will be of the adult variety. So maybe it’s not a huge surprise that a study published in December 2013 by OHSU researchers got a bit more coverage in recent weeks. The study, whose senior author was Kathy Grant of the OHSU Brain Institute and OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center, found that moderate drinking may help boost … Read More

On the Brain’s top 5 blog posts of 2014

As we welcome in the new year, here’s a look back at the brain-related news you may have missed; a round-up of our most read blog posts of 2014: 1. Your brain…in love There’s a specific spot in the brain (a love locus) where romance resides amidst the complex circuits and intricate chemicals that comprise our emotional nervous system. 2. Neuroscientists go to Washington — as advocates for science Neuroscientists from around the country attended the  Society … Read More

What you missed at BRAINet: The Many Brains in Music

The Brain Research Awareness and Information Network (BRAINet) is the volunteer outreach organization of the OHSU Brain Institute. BRAINet Lecture Luncheons are held each month, where members can hear presentations from OHSU faculty members. On December 15, we were lucky enough to be joined by Larry Sherman, Ph.D., who spoke about the connections between music and the brain. Dr. Sherman is both an accomplished musician and Senior Scientist for the Division of Neuroscience at OHSU’s Oregon … Read More

The connection between the brain, sleep and dementia

Last week, I talked about ongoing research on how sleep “deep cleans” your brain, as well as my participation in the National Geographic Channel’s documentary Sleepless in America. Meanwhile, our team of OHSU researchers, along with colleagues at the University of Rochester in New York, are plunging ahead with the story of the brain, sleep and dementia. We recently published an article in the journal Annals of Neurology that showed that the “brain cleaning system” is impaired in the aging … Read More

Sleepless in America — and the science behind it

There’s nothing quite like that feeling in your head after a long night of…no sleep. Your head feels disorganized, foggy, fuzzy, jumbled. Like it’s full of sludge left over from the night before. That’s maybe because it is. My colleagues and I have made some recent discoveries about what happens to the brain during sleep. In essence, we’ve found that the brain’s cells shrink during sleep in order to open up the space between them. That … Read More

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